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Laboratory studies of Lagrangian transport by breaking surface waves

TitleLaboratory studies of Lagrangian transport by breaking surface waves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLenain L., Pizzo N., Melville W.K
Date Published2019/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-1120
Accession NumberWOS:000478049400001
Keywordsair/sea interactions; dynamics; energy-dissipation; field; generation; mechanics; physics; surface gravity waves; wave breaking

While it has long been recognized that Lagrangian drift at the ocean surface plays a critical role in the kinematics and dynamics of upper ocean processes, only recently has the contribution of wave breaking to this drift begun to be investigated through direct numerical simulations (Deike et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 829, 2017, pp. 364-391; Pizzo et al., J. Phys. Oceanogr., vol. 49(4), 2019, pp. 983-992). In this work, laboratory measurements of the surface Lagrangian transport due to focusing deep-water non-breaking and breaking waves are presented. It is found that wave breaking greatly enhances mass transport, compared to non-breaking focusing wave packets. These results are in agreement with the direct numerical simulations of Deike et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 829, 2017, pp. 364-391), and the increased transport due to breaking agrees with their scaling argument. In particular, the transport at the surface scales with , the linear prediction of the maximum slope at focusing, while the surface transport due to non-breaking waves scales with, in agreement with the classical Stokes prediction.

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